Campaign Update

 

sostitlewhite-216 October 2016

Dear Goodwin Sands SOS Supporter

Progress but no victory yet!

You may have read the recent Mail Online article that gave the false impression that the campaign to stop dredging of the Goodwin Sands has succeeded.  This email is to clarify that, though we have made progress in recent months, the battle has not yet been won.

 

Where do we stand now?

Thanks to this campaign, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has asked Dover Harbour Board (DHB) to provide detailed information regarding the locations of all military air crash sites in the dredging zone, plus the fate of the crews. This involves excavating six potential crash sites identified in the dredging zone, plus a further eight on the boundary. This would be an expensive and complex operation for DHB, so they appear to be ignoring the MOD’s request.

Thanks to this campaign, a range of serious concerns were raised by national conservation and heritage groups. As a result of a request for further information from the government’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO), DHB has responded to these concerns. We consider their response insufficient, verging on cavalier. There is now a further public consultation period until November 16th to consider DHB’s responses.  They can be read here.

 

What is the next step for our campaign?

On expert advice from Marinet www.marinet.org.uk this campaign is now focussing on protecting the war graves located in the sands, as well as environmental and wildlife concerns. Below, we have condensed essential information relating to the new consultation period and DHB’s latest position. Please use this to inform your further emails/letters of objection to the MMO.

It is vital that we write again to the MMO. We must now strongly object to the dredging proposal in light of:

  • DHB’s unsound response to the MMO’s serious concerns
  • DHB’s disregard for the MOD’s war grave excavation request

When emailing the MMO, you MUST quote the reference number as before:

Email: Marine.consents@marinemanagement.org.uk

Reference: MLA/2016/00227

 

What next for the petition?

As well as writing to the MMO, we must keep sharing and signing the petition.  We now have 10,800 signatures. Can we get this to 15,000? We believe we can.

Our MP, the Rt Hon Charlie Elphicke is arranging for us to present the petition ourselves to Number 10, Downing Street.  This is an incredible publicity opportunity and makes an impressive signature count all the more important!

If you live nearby, we are holding a Campaign Update Meeting on Saturday 22nd Oct at 4pm in Deal. Here is a link to the meeting on Facebook. Please do join us if you can.

Finally, thank you so much for your ongoing support and encouragement – together we can STOP THE DREDGE of the Goodwin Sands!

Joanna Thompson (on behalf of the Save our Sands Campaign)

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